The Four Corners of Elite Player Development
Once a youngster has been identified, recruited and registered, he enters our performance programme, which is at the heart of the overall Academy operation and at the forefront of elite young player development.
The programme is committed to enabling each player to fulfil his potential. In order to achieve this, the programme operates in an environment that is conducive to individual and team progress.
9-11 - Players master the basic skills and techniques of the game. At this stage, they fall in love with the game and are already playing their first matches in the famous blue and white as they develop in 1v1 to 8v8 situations.
12-16 - Whilst carrying on technical and skill work the emphasis switches to problem solving. At the end of this stage players will have an understanding of one or more positions in the 11v11 game.
17-18 - Players' techniques, skills and game understanding are fine-tuned on a day-to-day basis. Winning becomes very important and players must learn the ways of real football. It is possible to be in the first team at this stage!
We live in the age of the super-fit athlete and footballers are no different. The youngsters learn the importance of strength, speed, flexibility, agility and conditioning and have individual programmes in order to improve each specific physical area.
Experience has taught us that many talented youngsters fail to reach their potential due to a lack of understanding of certain issues within their individual environment.
Players are given guidance on areas such as diet and nutrition, alcohol, smoking, time management, gambling, bullying, dealing with the media and many others.
Parents are invited to join in such sessions and are given specific support on how to deal with having a talented player in their house.
Football at the highest level demands incredible mental strength. From the youngest ages we focus on the key areas of goal-setting, motivation, self-confidence, concentration and communication.
The development and acquisition of psychological skills enable youngsters to improve their performance and to fulfil their potential.